Egypt’s New President Is A Bigger Dictator Than Mubarak Ever Was

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Mohamed ElBaradei @ The Financial Times:

It is Friday evening in Tahrir Square. The smell of tear gas hangs in the air. We have completed three protest marches in a week, and many are settling down to spend the night. I find myself asking, “After 23 months of struggling to bring democracy to Egypt, is this the best we can do? A president claiming dictatorial powers. A parliament packed with Islamists. And a draft constitution, hastily cobbled together without basic protections for women, Christians and all Egyptians?”

What has gone wrong? The army, keen to protect its perks and to avoid prosecution, botched the post-revolutionary transition. It allowed the Muslim Brotherhood, eager to take advantage of its 80-year-old field organisation, to rush parliamentary elections. The outcome was a landslide victory for the Islamists, far beyond their real power base. The constitutional court, after review, dissolved this non-representative parliament.

A political fist-fight ensued, as the new president and the military junta fought over who had ultimate power. The president landed the knockout punch, staging a soft coup against the generals and adding legislative power to his executive role. His latest sweeping declaration neutered the judiciary and forbade any review of his decrees. Mohamed Morsi’s power now exceeds that of Hosni Mubarak at his dictatorial peak.

Meanwhile the Brotherhood had packed the constituent assembly, which is charged with drafting a new constitution, with Islamists. In protest, the representatives of the liberal parties, minorities and other factions of civil society withdrew. The assembly has since produced a document that violates freedom of religion and freedom of speech, and fails to check executive power. The assembly is also pressing to enable religious institutions to challenge the judiciary.

And thus we are back in Tahrir Square. The situation is volatile: an Egypt bitterly divided between Islamists and the rest of the country, opening the door for scenarios such as army intervention, a revolt of the poor, or even civil war. Fear grips the majority of Egyptians, who want a true democracy rather than a theocratic state. The judiciary has gone on strike. The youth who led the revolution are determined: they did not take risks and make sacrifices – including lost lives – to exchange secular dictatorship for religious tyranny. Their fight was, and is, to bring freedom and dignity to the Egyptian people.

The country is threatened by four time bombs that have emerged under the leadership of the military and now the Brotherhood. Our economy is in free fall;

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Curt served in the Marine Corps for four years and has been a law enforcement officer in Los Angeles for the last 24 years.

2 Responses to “Egypt’s New President Is A Bigger Dictator Than Mubarak Ever Was”

  1. 1

    Nan G

    Why should any modern court be allowed to review Morsi’s decisions?
    He is for a form of Sharia Law set in stone about 1000 years ago.
    At PJ Media:

    Article 2 of the draft repeats the former constitution’s command that “Principles of Islamic Sharia are the principal source of legislation.”

    From the premise of sharia principles as the core, the new constitution proceeds with three radical innovations.

    First is the way the new constitution fleshes out what is meant by “principles.” The term will be governed by the four classical schools of Sunni Islamic jurisprudence. These four schools consider virtually all questions to have been settled a millennium ago. This means Islamic reformers and modernizers will be foreclosed from effecting any softening of classical sharia’s adhesive provisions.

    The new constitution appoints al-Azhar University, the ancient seat of Sunni learning, as the final arbiter of what sharia means. This thrusts the scholars of that institution (whose alumni include Omar Abdel Rahman, the Blind Sheik of World Trade Center bombing fame, and Sheik Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the Muslim Brotherhood’s top jurist) into the full range of Egyptian life and affairs, since there is no aspect of human endeavor that sharia would not control.

    After a few soothing lines about how individual “rights and freedoms” are sacrosanct, not “subject to disruption or detraction,” the constitution goes on to say: “Such rights and freedoms shall be practiced in a manner not conflicting with the principles pertaining to State and society included in Part I of this Constitution.” And what are those “principles” in the “State and Society” section of the draft? Why, they are the ones that say principles of sharia govern all legislation — again, “principles” as construed by al-Azhar, using the ancient interpretations of the four classical Sunni schools of jurisprudence.

    Bottom line: Egyptians have only the rights and freedoms permitted under sharia.


    This nation will enjoy blessing and revival only through the Islamic sharia.
    I take an oath before Allah and before you all that regardless of the actual text [of the constitution].
    … Allah willing, the text will truly reflect [the sharia], as will be agreed upon by the Egyptian people, by the Islamic scholars, and by legal and constitutional experts….
    Rejoice and rest assured that this people will not accept a text that does not reflect the true meaning of the Islamic sharia as a text to be implemented and as a platform.
    The people will not agree to anything else.

    Well, some of the people don’t want to be dhimmis and 2nd-class or even 3rd class slaves of Morsi’s buddies.

  2. 2


    I’m so proud of the GREAT EGYPTCIANS, NOT GIVING UP,
    they must not be tied into that small false emperor’s which,
    they want the real thing, they have died for, they have dreamed it,
    they will not take half freedom.

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